Luther College announces Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship winners

May 8, 2019

Five Luther College students have each received a $1,000 Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship for the 2019-20 academic year. Recipients of the scholarship were announced during the Luther College TRIO Celebration Banquet on April 10. Recipients include Emmy Buntrock, Taehjona Hodges, Julia Lieb, Viola Niyizigama and Grace Weinrich.

The Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship benefits Luther students involved in the TRIO Achievement Program. TRIO provides “holistic, individualized support and comprehensive programming that promotes students’ academic success, personal development and sense of community.” The federally funded program has been sponsored by Luther for over 45 years and serves approximately 185 students annually.

The Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship was established in 2001 by Lloyd and Kathy Anderson of Ames, Iowa, in memory of their son, Pastor Steven Mark Anderson, who graduated from Luther in 1985.

Emmy Buntrock is a junior majoring in elementary education from Rochester, Minnesota. She has been a member of Luther’s cross country team the past three years and was recently elected by her peers as a cross country captain for her senior year. She is also a youth mentor through the Luther College PALS program and volunteers her time working with school children in Northeast Iowa. She looks forward to becoming a teacher after graduating from Luther with the class of 2020.

Taehjona Hodges is a sophomore anthropology major and biology minor from St. Paul, Minnesota. She is certified in mental health first aid and safe zone training, helps the Luther College Box Office with events such as Christmas at Luther and commencement, and helps raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. She works as a collections assistant in the Luther anthropology lab and is president of the college’s Anthropology Club, which she helped to revive. She is a candidate for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) Graduate School Exploration Fellowship program. After graduating from Luther in 2021, she plans to pursue advanced degrees in anthropology to become a paleoanthropologist.

Julia Lieb is a sophomore from Galena, Illinois. An art major and management minor, she sings in Cathedral Choir and volunteers with the Admissions office as a prospective student host and orientation assistant. She is also involved in Bible studies, including Tuesday Night Discipleship. Writing is one of her passions, and she uses her strong writing skills as a tutor for the TRIO Achievement Program and the Norse Writing Center. Lieb will graduate from Luther with the class of 2021.

Viola Niyizigama is a junior from Marion, Iowa. She is majoring in international studies with a minor in management. Her memberships include Habitat for Humanity, the Black Student Union, Beta Theta Omega (BTQ), Student Activities Council (SAC) and the International Student and Allies Association. In addition, she has co-chaired the Student Activities Homecoming Committee, volunteered for Luther Community Serve Day, and helped plan the campus Kwanzaa celebration. She is a talented poet and brings awareness to issues facing minorities by writing and performing her poetry. Niyizigama is studying in Uganda this semester and plans to pursue graduate study after earning her degree from Luther in 2020.

Grace Weinrich is a sophomore social work major from Lake City, Minnesota. Helping others is her greatest passion. She completed an internship during J-Term with Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah and is a GrandPALS companion for two residents there. She represents Luther as a member of the Ballroom and Swing Dance Team and serves as a special events ambassador and an orientation assistant for the college. She is also one of three peer leaders in the TRIO Achievement Program, mentoring first-year students and assisting with the Foundations for Learning and Development course available to incoming TRIO participants. She will graduate with the Luther class of 2021.